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Day 53: Key points from today's conference

Posted on May 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Today’s daily coronavirus conference was led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was joined by Sir Ian Diamond, chief statistician at the Office for National Statistics, and Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer for England. Today's briefing fell on the final day of the previously extended UK wide lockdown.


Dominic Raab lays out the latest coronavirus figures:

  • 1,534,533 tests, with carried out 86,583 yesterday

  • 206,715 positive tests for the virus

  • 30,615 dead after testing positive for COVID-19

Key points to take away from today's speech are: ​​

  • Dominic Raab says the UK has "passed the peak of the virus" thanks to a "monumental effort" from the British public.

  • Dominic Raab says the infection rate is between 0.5 and 0.9.

  • Dominic Raab says the UK is now in a position to begin to think about the next phase of its COVID-19 response. PM Boris Johnson will set out these next steps in his address to the nation on Sunday.

  • Dominic Raab warns that if people "abandon the social distancing rules" the virus "will grow again at an exponential rate".

  • Deputy Chief Medical Officer says there was a technical hitch in testing over the weekend that has now been resolved (but the daily test numbers are still below the 100k target)

  • Ian Diamond, chief statistician at ONS, says there is some variation on the R number across the country, with the consensus being that it is below one everywhere – with the lowest R level probably in London.

  • Asked how the government is preventing outbreaks in prison, Dominic Raab says ministers have a plan and are taking "nothing for granted". However he says they are "confident we have the situation under control"

To read a brief summary of last night's points and important measures click here.